Cthulhu 100

Case 001 - The Haunting

The curious case of Mr. Walter Corbitt

May 1890

Retired scholar Rupert Merriweather brought together a diverse group of people that he hoped would have what it takes to right a great wrong that he and a group of friend perpetrated back in 1843. The only thing that all of these people had in common was that they all knew Rupert Merriweather.

The investigators that were all gathered together by Merriweather were Alasdair Maloney, Bob Shire, Charles Van Winstin Hine, Captain Isaac Fleming (Ret.), Edith, Jonathan Asbatch, Lilith Harrington, Reginald Black, Shemus Moriarty, Takeshi Takemori, Theodore Smith and Walter Raleigh.

However, before undertaking the mission that he needed for them to do, Merriweather had a small investigative test for the group and that was to investigate the curious goings on at the old Corbitt House, owned by Alexander Peterson, a former student of Merriweather’s. A series of incidents had occurred that had left the tenants, an Italian family named Macario, both institutionalised, with their children being sent to live with neighbours.

To this end, it was decided that Alasdair, Bob, Reginald, Shemus and Takeshi would undertake the investigation at hand as the other investigators had other pressing engagements upon their time.

Before visiting the house, the investigators decided upon a plan of investigation, trying to find out as much as they could about the house. To this end they managed to uncover an 1888 article from the Telegraph newspaper that was never published, it gave the following information on the house:

  • In 1850 a family of French immigrants moved into the house, but fled after a series of violent accidents left the parents dead and the three children crippled. The house then long stood vacant.
  • In 1879 another family moved in and immediately fell prey to illnesses. In 1884, the oldest brother went mad and killed himself with a kitchen knife, and the heartbroken family moved out.
  • In 1887, a third family rented the house, but they left almost immediately.

Due to a fire in the offices of the Telegraph, earlier records could not be found, however, a search of the public library in Soho did uncover the following information:

  • In 1805, a prosperous merchant built the house, but immediately fell ill and sold it to a Mr. Walter Corbitt.
  • In 1822, Corbitt was sued by neighbours, who petitioned to force him to leave the area ‘in consequence of his spurious habits and inauspicious demeanor’.
  • Evidently Corbitt won the lawsuit. His obituary in 1836 stated that he still lived in the same place. It also stated that a second lawsuit was being waged to prevent Corbitt from being buried in his basement, as provided by his will, but no outcome to the second lawsuit was recorded.

The investigators then decided to visit the Hall of Records, which almost led to Reginald Black being arrested for the attempted bribery of a city official. Fortunately Charles van Wintin Hine stepped in and smoothed things over. In the meantime, they found that the executor of Walter Corbitt’s will was the Reverend Michael Thomas of the Chapel of Contemplation & Church of Our Lord Granter of Secrets. It was discovered that the Chapel of Contemplation had been closed down in 1882 due to police actions and that Pastor Michael Thomas had been arrested and sentenced to 40 years in prison on charges of manslaughter. It was however, also noted that Thomas escaped prison and fled the country in 1887. The nature of the escape, according to Inspector Giles Lestrade even baffled the late great Sherlock Holmes himself.

The investigators searched out the ruins of the Chapel and found a burnt and decaying shell, the remaining evidence of the occurrences of 1882. During their searches they found an old record that stated that Corbitt had been interred in his own house ‘in accordance with his wishes and with the wishes of that One Who Waits in the Dark’.

Having found out as much as they could, the investigators went onto the old Corbitt House itself. On the ground floor, they found that the house had certainly been left in a hurry, with meals left uneaten and various foodstuffs going rotten. They also found Walter Corbitt Diaries in a cupboard in a storage room and that there was quite a proliferation of crosses on the walls and shelves. The rest of the ground floor was rather unremarkable.

The first floor however, was mostly unremarkable other than a continuance of the number of crosses to be found. One bedroom however, which had been left sparsely furnished did have blood running up the walls and forming into a pool on the ceiling, which in turn was dropping down onto the floor.

The next point of call for the investigators was the basement, where Reginald was attacked by a floating knife, which made a severe gash in his leg. Alasdair decided to take the injured man back upstairs to the ground floor to treat his wounds, whilst Takeshi, Bob and Shemus continued to investigate the basement. It was here that they found a false wall and climbing through they encountered the horror that was Walter Corbitt.

Corbitt they discovered was an animated corpse that was keeping himself in a state of undeath. He flew across and attacked Shemus almost ripping out his chest, but after a time, Takeshi managed to decapitate the fiend with his sword, finally putting to rest the evil man.

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